Friday, 30 September 2011

Complete History Of The Soviet Union, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

CR: MLP: Friendship is Magic

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Daffy Duck: Epic Wizard

Here is something I wasn't expecting: Daffy Duck as a wizard from an issue of Heavy Metal with hot elves at his beck and call. Kinda weird, but oddly cool all the same.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

CT: Who Is the Blame for the Odd Changes to the DCnU Cast?

By Me,
Trying to explain the disappearances of certain characters and changes in physical appearance of others.

And for the record: MLP: Friendship is Magic is AWESOME, and the opening episode of the new season was like liquid joy injected into your naked brain through your eyes.

Though that's just my opinion.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Catwoman Animated Short to Play at New York ComiCon

Red vs. Blue Season 9 - episode 13

Batman Inc Season One Finale Has Steph In It!

But post-reboot she's back to being the Spoiler. Oh well.
"Grant Morrison is back on BATMAN INCORPORATED for a giant-sized one-shot called LEVIATHAN STRIKES. Gotham’s greatest detective will learn that there’s more to his deadly foe than meets the eye. So what is the Leviathan’s shocking secret? We’re not saying…but for now, we’ve got a first look at the cover by Chris Burnham.
“The long-awaited conclusion to season 1 of BATMAN INCORPORATED is here at last!” said Morrison. “For months, Batman and his allies have fought a shadow campaign against the deadly legions of the mysterious Leviathan, but now it’s time for all-out war – a war which Batman may not be able to win. Schoolgirl assassins! Bat-robots! Nazi masterminds with Alzheimer’s! Guest stars galore! Batman and Spoiler team to face the School of Night while Batman Incorporated travels to a sinister Cold War interrogation facility to face the mind-bending menace of Doctor Dedalus for the last time while the true identity of Leviathan is finally revealed, with shocking consequences for the Dark Knight. With incredible artwork from Cameron Stewart (BATMAN AND ROBIN MUST DIE) and Chris Burnham (BATMAN INC.), LEVIATHAN STRIKES! rounds out season 1 and is also the prologue to 2012’s BATMAN: LEVIATHAN – the epic, tragic, final act of a story six years long.”


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Cully Hamner's Varient Cover of the Shade

Fox Apparently Making Spectre TV Show

"Fox is developing a drama based on The Spectre, DC Comics’ hooded Spirit of Vengeance, Deadline reports.

Brandon Camp, creator of the short-lived sci-fi drama John Doe, will write the adaptation, which centers on an ex-cop serving time in limbo who hunts down earthly criminals on behalf of the dead. Warner Bros. Television and Gerber Pictures will produce The Spectre, which has received a script commitment from Fox, with Camp and Bill Gerber (Gran Torino) serving as executive producers."

Red vs. Blue Season 9 - episode 12

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

How Captain America and Harry Potter Should Have Ended...

Wonder Woman Varient Cover

By Cliff Chiang,

Justice League Dark Trailer

Ooo, pretty art!

Okay, I have several misgivings over Constantine of all people being in the Justice League, if they kept the same group and just called it the Shadowpact I wouldn't really mind, but that said this does look interesting, I have to say.

Monday, 12 September 2011

If I Wrote Actual Comics: Arkham Asylum, Brought to you by Batman Inc.

I was pondering as to what things could be made into comics, and I came up with an idea for a new twist for the Batman comics.

Basically the premise is, that with the launch of Batman Inc. Bruce decides to use to not just crime fight in a detection capacity, he's going to keep an eye on them once they're in the system as well.

He'll do this by buying Arkham, and rather than donating money to guards and directors who half the time are to corrupt or inept that they can't do their jobs correctly, he'll use his resources to monitor his enemies while they're in their cells, keep them correctly restrained, or actually getting them proper treatment so their conditions can be improved or at least not made any worse.

They could get the Grant Morrison rejigged version of Mr Miracle in to make things modernised and harder to escape from, as the place a lot of the time seems to not have been updated internally since the 1800s or early 1900s. Norman had actually done a similar thing to a supervillain prison in California prior to Seven Soldiers, which was actually referenced in-story.

With Arkham, and possibly the conventional prisons like Blackgate, under Batman's control, he'll be able to respond to escapes faster (they have to happen because of plot, just not as much) and the rogues can be made formidable by them having to up their game in order to escape from the now superadvanced facility. Plus, there'd be more at stake for Batman personally if the Joker was to escape for the umpteenth time, as Batman'd be more directly responsible for the Joker's actions, instead of the bumbling guards or cops.

There would then be the sequels and things that you could get into along the line, as the threats are escalated. For example, it's already canon that Bruce Wayne has put large spacestations in orbit that functioned as the JLA satellites. Why not adapt the concept to a supermax jail that is also a spacestation, which could only be accessed by shuttle or by the JLA's teleportation beams? Maybe the sppacestation branch of Arkham could be for the repeat escapees, like the Joker, Two-Face etc.?

By making Arkham actually difficult to break out of, it would make criminals such as the Joker more threatening, as they'd have to go back to the evil genius aspect of the character, as opposed to him just being really, really stabby. Also, the writers would have to think up more inventive ways for the villains to escape, as opposed to them escaping offscreen by going all Shawshank when no one was looking or something.

That's an idea anyways.

Atop the Fourth Wall: Twilight Zone 9

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Obscuras Lupa Presents - Tammy and the T-rex

Lupa reviews the best movie about a girl falling in love with a robot dinosaur with her boyfriend's brain that goes on a rampage and murders people ever!

Garth Ennis and Religion: My Rambley Analysis

I read reading through some people's comments about Garth Ennis and his religious satire series the Chronicles of Wormwood, mainly they were complaints about his treatment of religion, and it got me thinking. Are there some similar themes that are on display in his work?

In a manner of speaking, yes.

Bear in mind though, before I get into things, that he grew up during the Troubles in Ireland during the 1970s, during a massive conflict between Protestants and Catholics, which would definately colour his opinion one way or the other as a result.

In his work in Hellblazer, Preacher etc. the idea wasn't so much the idea that religion or religious figures were bad, there are people who appear in his work who are both very religious and good people, for example that Vicar Constantine was friends with. The idea was that on the human side (due to people being people) there was the chance that they might not be working entirely in people's best interests, and that supernatural creatures who are nominally on the side of Good aren't necessarily the same as them being NICE.

For example, let's take the Angel Gabriel from Hellblazer. He works for God, and is such is proud of the fact that this means that whatever he does it must be for the right reason, so when Constantine arranged for him to Fall, the experience broke him entirely as he believed that if he was as loved by God as he believed, why would he be evicted from Heaven? That would make Gabe a sympathetic character, if it wasn't for the fact that as a supernatural being from Heaven living on Earth, he didn't understand humans that much and wasn't really interested in trying to find out how they work.

The belief that whatever he does is right, regardless of how horrible, combined with his lack of empathy for humans (which is mistaken for mere snobbery by the humans he interacts with) lead to a lot of unpleasant things he does, and nearly does.

For example, he lists raping a teenage girl in Nazareth (implictly Mary) as an example of the things he's done that have gone on to better the world, and NEARLY gives a stand-in for the BNP his backing in the next British General Election because they impressed him with his talk of order and purity before Constantine deflates that bubble by addressing what they are to Gaberial in terms he understands.

Another more human example would be a village priest who Constantine met in his youth who routinely abused the sanctity of the confessional to "punish" those who offend his moral or religious standards. For example, a teenage boy confessed that he'd slept with a man, so the priest (knowing that homosexuality wa illegal in the UK at the time) sent him on his way and then called the cops, and was happy to have made the right choice after the kid killed himself in prison. That guy had such a rigid and personalised view of religion that the First of the Fallen was able to break him with just a sentence.

The idea that religion can be both a good thing, and a bad thing when those who believe in, but lack empathy to use their faith sensibly, it start to thing that it's a Universial Morality License is pretty much a theme through a lot fo Ennis' work, including his War Stories, the Boys, Punisher etc.

To cut into the Boys briefly, the idea of having faith in an idea being beneficial two at least two characters in the series, while it also demonstrates that it could be used poorly by those who are cynical or too hardline.

Annie January, for example, was introduced to Christianity as a PR stunt, but she ended up embracing it as it gave her an anchor amidst the corporate/paramilitary upbringing that she'd received. Her belief in God and the idea that Jesus loved her made her a better person, and allowed her to not be turned into a hedonistic monster like so many of her cohorts. Even when her belief was shaken by the horrible things she saw or experienced, she never caved, just became a bit more worldly and able to stand up for herself more.

On the flipside of the coin, they have the MASSIVELY tacky way that the corporation that creates and controls the superhumans in the Boys Universe uses Christianity as propaganda, on the basis that in the US you'll get more people to believe you're good if you're seen appearing to be religious. Which isn't as daft as you'd think, considering how people reacted to Obama "not going to church as much as he should do" in the early parts of his term.

The idea of belief as a stabliser isn't just used as a religious thing in the series either, as the belief that forms of politics could have the same effects is also used. For example, the Russian superhero Vasilii Vorishikin, aka Love Sausage, used to be part of a Soviet superhero team, and because they were run by the state during that era they REALLY believed in the Communist cause, wholely and noncynically. He admitted later that the government kind of messed it up, but he believed in the ideal that communism presented, that because he had the power to help his countrymen he had the duty to do so.

This combined by the belief that a lot of post-Soviet Russians have, that things were better in the Old Days, caused him be made happy when a communist party was again getting power in the Russian government. He thought that this would get rid of the gangsters and bring back a state where everyone was taken care of, more or less. The fact that it ended up being just another ploy to gain power by cynics who knew of the nostaliga that the Old Days held in the hearts of Russians broke Vas's heart.

Cutting back to Wormwood, the idea that religion could be both a good thing and a bad thing depending upon who is using it, is continued, but it adds an element of Pratchett's ideas from his novel Small Gods as well. For example, Heaven is awesome (and FAIR), angels are actually pretty nice etc. but when it came to organised religion... Ennis pretty much repeats the point that there ARE nice people in things like the Catholic Church, but people are rarely promoted on the basis that they're NICE.

The Pope, for example, was pretty much a throwback to the Borgias, who only got the job because the higher ups were too racist/thought that their congregations would be too racist to attempt a black Pope. The Pope is MASSIVELY corrupt, sexually abusive and incredibly cynically when it comes to the fact that Jesus and the AntiChrist are actually walking about (that is until he gets AIDS and orders Jesus to be kidnapped to cure him). I guess that the Pope's depiction in Chronicles of Wormwood is meant to depict him as a microcosm of every thing Ennis consider to be wrong with the Catholic Church in one meanspirited, sexist package. The idea seems to be that, like in Omnia in Small Gods, the system of organised religion has provided a structure that people believe in more than the people it was set up to represent. Even it they wanted to fix things, they can't due to the fact that they have bills to pay and changing the opinions of people, especially these days, is akin to herding a million cats from Lands End to John O'Groats singlehanded without loosing a single one along the way.

As stated, the idea behind it isn't so much religion is wrong, it's the ideas and structures that have built up around it that are the problem. Heaven's awesome, angels are nice (unlike Ennis' previous work in Preacher and Hellblazer) and Jesus is actually a really nice guy. His message is there, but just like what happened in Hellblazer and the Boys, it's been interpreted by bigots and cynics over the years to mean less then the initial message.

Pretty much the only one who doesn't cme across as 100% good on the side of Jesus and Co. is God himself, who suffers from the same problem that Gaberial had over in Hellblazer, in that he's so far removed from humanity that he doesn't really understand if, and as such doesn't always work in its best interest. That's where Jesus came into the mix, as a buffer to understand humanity by living amongst it, like how the Avatars are meant to work in the Last Airbender/Legend of Korra Universe.

The fact that God was shown to be kind of malicious and insane (a well as a chronic masturbator) was probably a result of Ennis growing up in a place were the community was divided by two groups of people who were killing each other due to differences in religion, as well as the story he once told, when he was in school when he said he felt threatened by the idea that God is watching and judging him all of the time.

Anyways, going back to the original point, I believe that my statement that Wormwood was a more fair treatment of religion is due to the fact that both sides are portrayed as being having elements of being good and bad. It has one of the more sincere protrayals of Jesus in modern fiction, nice and wanting the best for everyone without going into parody like the likes of Seth Macfarlene or whatever.

Plus I like how it has the same kind of set up as Good Omens, in that it takes place in a universe were Evil and Good exist, but it doesn't mean that they can't get along and act in humanity's best interest every once and a while. I mean, it's not like we're going to, is it?

Friday, 9 September 2011

DKR's Selina Kyle has Awesome Hats, Apparently

From here,

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Wizard's Comicbook Crossovers

A with their Ultimate DCU, Wizard Magazine also commissioned a number of profesional artist guys to draw some team-ups/fights between characters that they thought would be an interesting combination.

Here are the ones I found! :)

Collected up from Plus4chan.

More up if I find 'em.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

All-Star Western 1 Trailer

Quick trailer for the upcoming release of All-Star Western #1 by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat.

Hex goes to Gotham and punches folk. Huh. Does it count as a Western if the main story takes place in New Jersey though?

Red vs. Blue Season 9 - episode 11

Monday, 5 September 2011

It's Freddy Mercury's 65th Birthday Today

To celebrate one of my musical heroes, here is one of my favourite songs by him,

We miss you.